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Tipping point How in-game spending will eat the games world

Report by Karol Severin
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20,000 foot view:  Though parts of the games industry still stigmatize in-game purchases, the business model is a fundamental part of a successful and sustainable growth formula for games companies. The current macroeconomic climate will only catalyse their importance. Diving into the nuances of in-game spenders’ behaviours and attitudes unlocks significant growth and conversion optimization opportunities for games companies that are already in pursuit of this business model. For companies that have yet to embrace in-game spending, the time is now. Not just from the commercial point of view, but also for the sake of satisfying expectations of next-gen gamers in the mid to long-term.

Key insights

  • Regular monthly in-game spending is still niche with        of gamers doing so

  • Ad hoc in-game spending is strong, with        of console gamers and        of PC gamers having spent money on in-game items within one month in        2022

  • South Korea, Brazil, and US gamers are most likely to engage in regular in-game spending, with UK gamers ranking last out of the nine markets in scope

  • In-game purchasing will grow as the next generation of gamers ages

  • In-game purchasing is one of the least male-skewing gamer behaviours, providing further opportunities to close the gender gap in gaming

  • At        games service subscribers are more than five times as likely to regularly spend on in-game items than the gamer average

  • Gamers who engage in games-related behaviours besides gameplay (e.g., esports viewing or live streaming) are significantly over-indexing on in-game purchasing

  • While certain games genres (e.g., MOBA) are better positioned for in-game sales than others (e.g., puzzles), opportunities exist to drive in-game spending across all genres

  • With changing consumer motivations to play games, in-game spending-averse games companies have a new additional rationale to review their thinking on the matter

Companies and brands mentioned in this report:  Activision, Electronic Arts (EA), FIFA , Frontier, League of Legends , Madden NFL, Steam, Ubisoft

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